This chapter traces one student teacher's (Joan) experiences of learning to teach English as a second language in a cross-cultural context during a teaching practicum in Hong Kong. The school-based practicum is a core component of many initial teacher education programmes. During this induction period, usually an 8-week block, student teachers are placed in local schools to learn how to integrate theories into practice in real teaching situations. Specifically, I uncover how Joan grappled with the tensions and complexities of teaching young learners from a different cultural and linguistic background, in a small elementary school situated in the borderland between Hong Kong (an autonomous region of China) and Shenzhen (a province of Mainland China).
Critical incidents from Joan's practicum experiences were analysed to uncover how she dealt with the tensions and dilemmas in confronting difference and marginalising practices while learning to teach English as a second language (ESL) in the practicum school. Implications on how to develop initial teacher education programmes so that student teachers learning to teach across cultural contexts can be encouraged to explore, confront and ‘deal with the emotional terrain of understanding difference’ will be discussed (Boler & Zembylas, 2003, p. 123; Zembylas, 2010).
Chan, C. (2023), "Confronting Difference: Learning to Teach in a Borderland School in Hong Kong", Chan, E. and Ross, V. (Ed.) Smudging Composition Lines of Identity and Teacher Knowledge (Advances in Research on Teaching, Vol. 46), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 53-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-368720230000046004
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